In the past — as little as 10 or 15 years ago — a startup that maintained a blog was something of a novelty. Often enough, the entrepreneurs were especially passionate about their niche and wanted to share their stories with the world. Or maybe they had an on-staff writer who wanted to get more visibility for the startup’s contributions to the industry.
These days, however, maintaining a blog is a practical necessity for most startups. How did blogs become such a valuable addition to a startup’s marketing and visibility strategy? And what are the best steps to take to create one now?
Core Reasons to Start a Blog
Let’s start by listing out some of the primary advantages of starting and maintaining a blog.
The cumulative benefits of blogging for a startup business are hard to exaggerate. Suffice to say that at a minimum your business gains the opportunity to get much more visibility, a better reputation, and maintain a competitive edge.
Ease of Creation
Nowadays, it’s drop-dead easy to create a blog from scratch. You may already have a company website that includes an option to publish blogs on a regular basis. If not, you can create one easily enough. From there, you can use resources such as The Blog Starter to learn more about the mechanics of blog post creation, the path to marketing a blog, and more.
Low Costs and Low Maintenance
Comparatively speaking, blogging is a low-cost and low-maintenance marketing strategy. True, you’ll have to spend time writing posts or perhaps pay someone else to do it, but when compared to other strategies such as paid advertising, your overall costs are minimal.
The Undeniable Value of Blogging for Startup Businesses
So what exactly are the undeniable benefits of blogging as a startup? Time is a precious commodity for any business owner, so what makes this investment worthwhile?
Direct Communication with Customers and Fans
Blogging on a regular basis represents an opportunity for your business to directly communicate as you see fit with your customers and fans. Through your blog, you can freely share exciting news, provide sneak peeks at your upcoming products, and even provide snapshots of “a day in the life” at the office. Direct communication, handled correctly, “humanizes” your brand and works to foster a greater sense of community with your core constituents.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Perhaps most importantly, regular blogging is one of the best ways for your business to practice search engine optimization (SEO). By gaining mastery over SEO as you go, your business can steadily climb the rankings of search engine results pages (SERPs), eventually hitting page-one status — and getting a ton of additional organic traffic as a result. “Slow and steady wins the race.” That old adage is particularly true when mastering the SEO game.
Calls to Action (CTAs)
Blog posts also provide an opportunity to include a call to action (CTA), encouraging your reader to buy your product, fill out a questionnaire, or take some other important action. Persuasive writing can be highly effective here.
Opportunities for Research and Learning
Writing a compelling, original blog often requires you to do research and learn more about a topic. You might even have to conduct a novel study of your own. The more you learn, the better.
Connections to Other Marketing Strategies
Blogging works well with a number of other marketing strategies. For example, you can use your blog posts as an incentive to get people to subscribe to your regular email newsletter.
Reputation and Leadership
If your blogs are interesting, well-written, and unique, your startup will eventually earn reputational benefits. You’ll soon enough be seen as a thought leader in your industry and you’ll earn more business as a result.
Important Tips for Getting Started
If you’re a startup looking to get started in the blogging world, there are a handful of important tips you’ll need to follow. If you forget everything else, hang on to the four listed below.
1. Be different.
There are hundreds of millions of blogs out there. Millions of these are likely positioned in your niche or immediately adjacent to your niche. If you hope to have a chance to succeed, you’ll need to find a way to stand out — and that means finding an original angle. What do you have to offer that no one else on Earth can provide? What makes your business unique?
2. Invest in quality over quantity.
It’s tempting to load up your blog with as many posts as possible, especially in the early days of development. However, it’s much better to invest in quality over quantity. Take your time writing long, detailed posts, even if that means you have to slow down your frequency of publication.
3. Optimize for specific keywords and phrases.
Be sure to spend adequate time doing keyword research, learning about the most popular and most competitive keywords your customers are searching for. Armed with that data, you can write better-targeted pieces of content, and eventually earn more traffic.
4. Market your work.
Even great articles don’t achieve visibility in a vacuum. Share your posts on social media and build links to your blog. Consider leveraging paid advertising to get more eyes on your work.
If your startup doesn’t currently have a blog, or if you haven’t spent much time thinking about your blogging strategy, now’s as good a time as any to conduct a thorough audit and make adjustments to your approach. With a high-quality blog on your startup’s website, you’ll be in a much better position to eventually succeed.